Boro clin­i­cal in right areas at right times

Sunday Sun - - Football - Philip Tal­len­tire

Mid­dles­brough man­ager Garry Monk has praised his team. QPR man­ager Ian Hol­loway, be­low, thought his side de­served at least a point at the River­side yes­ter­day GARRY Monk has paid trib­ute to his Mid­dles­brough play­ers for emerg­ing from a tough week un­beaten and end­ing it on a win­ning note.

Boro climbed to within a point and a po­si­tion of the play-off places by com­ing from be­hind twice to de­feat QPR 3-2 at the River­side yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

Mid­dles­brough fell be­hind early in each half courtesy of goals from David Wheeler – signed from Ex­eter last month – and Jamie Mackie, but lev­elled things up through Lewis Baker (36) and Ash­ley Fletcher (56).

Then Britt As­som­ba­longa dived into head his fifth goal since mov­ing from Not­ting­ham For­est on the hour to claim an im­por­tant three points.

The vic­tory fol­lowed a hard-earned point at As­ton Villa on Tues­day, when Boro were re­duced to 10 men, and last week­end’s 3-0 tri­umph at Bolton.

Monk said: “We are very pleased with the re­sult in the end. First half QPR came with a plan to try to frus­trate and slow things down.

“We gifted them the first goal and made it dif­fi­cult for us. We didn’t af­fect the game how we wanted to. We were dis­ap­pointed at half-time, and sec­ond half we changed a cou­ple of things. That put us on the front foot, but we made an­other mis­take from an avoid­able goal.

“Credit to the play­ers to face those sit­u­a­tions. We had a good 25-minute pe­riod where we got our lead and if any­thing we should have ex­tended it af­ter that.

“In ac­count of all that, we have had a hard week. There is al­ways a de­bate in my mind, that fresh­ness, phys­i­cal side of it... should you change things?

“But they de­served to play in that game. Credit to those that did. It’s an im­por­tant trait to win when you are not at your best.

“We were clin­i­cal in the right areas at the right times.”

QPR made it ex­tremely dif­fi­cult for Boro, and would have claimed a point had Pawel Ws­zolek found the net in­stead of the post in the clos­ing stages.

Nev­er­the­less Rangers boss Ian Hol­loway, whose side have only picked up a point on their trav­els so far this sea­son, was sat­is­fied with his team’s dis­play.

“It was a fan­tas­tic game of foot­ball,” he said. “As a neu­tral, that’s what you want to see. Af­ter our early goal, they moved the ball and we knew they would.

“To be fair, I am scratch­ing our head how we lost it. You have to say it’s down to the changes Garry made – they had that on the bench. “It’s fine mar­gins. We hit the post. “Did the ball go out for their win­ner? “That’s the new QPR. I thought they gave me ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing.

“When this place gets go­ing, it’s tough. Last time I was here I was un­bi­ased, watch­ing a cou­ple of games when they got pro­moted. This year I saw my team at least de­serve some­thing, maybe a point.”

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